Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Is this 2009 Chevrolet Express 2500 mileage for real?

I live in a retirement community where no one has a stupid grandchild and no one has a dog that ever has an accident in the house. I am active in dog rescue and bought a Nissan NV200 cargo van that I use for about a 450 mile round trip every week. It was billed as getting 24-27mpg highway, but with the AC struggling to keep the wayback cool, it actually gets about 19. Crated dogs generate a lot of heat and moisture, so I run a rechargeable fan to try to keep the farthest point under 80 degrees. Last week, another transporter showed up in a 2009 Chevy Express 2500 she had bought about a year ago. This massive cargo van sat idle for quite some time before she bought it and at that time, it had under 100k miles on it. Because I sometimes need more transport space than I have, I asked her what kind of mileage she gets. She says she gets 37mpg, also with her AC cranking to keep an even bigger load of dogs cool all the way back. She says she runs a (piddly) little fan plugged into her dash and that it stays very cool inside this cavernous vehicle. I just looked up the estimated mpg for this model: 17-19, new, right off the line. She told me her secret is never exceeding the speed limit. She said she can drive from Arkansas to Pittsburgh (PA, not KS) leaving on a full tank and stopping once for a fill-up. Granted, my NV200 has a 14 gallon tank and alerts me when I still have about 3 gallons in it, but is this even possible?? I get why people lie about their grandchildren and dogs, but a full-sized cargo van (not diesel either) getting that kind of mileage from regular unleaded??? That’s just too much…or is it?

She is either lying like a rug . . . or she is a moron who has absolutely no idea how to calculate fuel economy the correct way

We have tons of full size vans in our fleet . . . including Chevy Express . . . and none of them get 37mpg

Not even close

Not even 20mpg

Honestly, I would take whatever car-related “information” that person gives you with a huge grain of salt


Well, that is certainly a new way to start a post.

1 Like

Well–my point is that every statement here has to be taken with a grain of salt! NO ONE loses at a casino (but us); NO ONE’s house has lost value since they bought it (but ours); NO ONE’s grandchild is in anything but the talented and gifted program at school and this lucky Chevy Express owner’s van gets 37mpg fully loaded. Maybe it’s the owner who’s fully loaded…? Next trip, she’s going to pull a horse trailer with it in addition to having the Express filled with crated dogs. I can only assume her mpg will go up…


Some people are mistaken or don’t always know what they are talking about, it doesn’t mean that they are lying. Who knows where she got the number 37 from, maybe she stops every 370 miles to refill the tank. The Chevrolet has a 31 gallon fuel tank, it should be able to drive from Arkansas to Pennsylvania on two tanks of fuel.

That’s probably a good place for you.

That’s about what it’s rated for.

Being a two passenger vehicle, the HVAC system wasn’t made in mind with chilling the cargo area. Most outfits that require extra cooling, like a flower shop for example would have an aftermarket a/c unit attached to the roof. Still though, that doesn’t explain the large MPG discrepancy.

LOL, she does not get 37 MPG. Even if she has the optional Duramax Diesel, she might be able to eek out 22-24ish MPG while sticking strictly to 60-65 MPH. With a gas engine (which are more common), mid-high teens are the absolute best you can hope for.

Did she happen to mention anything else, like confessing that she was the one that killed Lincoln or that she’s really the Lindbergh baby. Because those things are just as likely as a 2009 Chevy Express managing 37 MPG.

That’s about a 870-900 mile drive assuming you live right on the Arkansas line. The van has a 31 gallon fuel tank. So really she’s only having to get 450-500 miles out of a tank of fuel. If she’s getting 17 MPG and drives until she’s down to 1 gallon of fuel in the tank she would cover about 510 miles,. So she could conceivably start in Arkansas or even 50-100 miles inside Arkansas, fill up. drive until she’s close to empty, fill up again, and make it to Pittsburgh comfortably with a single stop for fuel. She doesn’t need to get 37 MPG for that feat . If she did get 37 MPG out of that thing, her range would be a little over 1100 miles on a single tank of fuel.

" I get why people lie about their grandchildren and dogs, but a full-sized cargo van (not diesel either) getting that kind of mileage from regular unleaded??? That’s just too much…or is it?"

Getting 37 MPG isn’t plausible, making the trip you described with one stop to refuel is very possible. It sounds to me like she forgot to factor a fuel stop in her calculations, as 37 MPG is just about double what her van should get. If you add another tank of fuel her MPG drops to 18.5 MPG which is reasonable for that vehicle (actually a little on the optimistic side, but possible under the right conditions).


You drive 1000 miles, stop 5 times for fuel and put 10 gallons in each time.

10x5 = 50mpg :slight_smile: , I know people that figure their mileage that way.

Can’t convince them that’s not right, that it should be 1000/50 = 20mpg

1 Like

Or, you know how our parents had to walk 5 miles to school, barefoot, in 3 feet of snow, uphill both ways? Maybe she only drives downhill.


Her trip (to Pittsburgh) would be Huntsville, AR (takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the N/S freeway, I49/71, stop and go through Bella Vista, AR (no freeway through here!); north to Joplin; north east to St. Louis; to Indianapolis; to Pittsburgh. With the wind at her back and nobody slamming into her (or shooting her) for going below the speed limit, I would think the potty breaks involved in long-distance (BTW: 13 h 47 min (919.2 mi) via I-70 E) transport would have her stopping every time it got odiferous. Having driven three dozen puppies to Minnesota, I can imagine not being right-headed and unable to calculate MPG several times over 14-15 hours. While we were discussing this miraculous Chevy Express, she was as amazed as I was at what slowing down to just below the speed limit could do: like double her mileage on what she called “plain ol’ unleaded.” Thanx, FoDaddy…

I work in HVAC, and have driven many Chevy Express cargo vans as work trucks. Every one was equipped with the V-8 engine. My real-world experience is that they achieve somewhere between 13-18 mpg, and that’s with the A/C off and windows rolled down. Maybe if you carry minimal cargo, drive slowly, and keep the A/C off, you might eke out 20 mpg, but even that is doubtful.

1 Like

That would be millennial math, yes? I kinda remember “new math” in the '60s completely f++ked me up. I think now they call it Common Core; perhaps if I embraced that concept, I’d get better gas mileage. I would think that charging all the gas it would actually take (on a trip like this: minimum 13 h 47 min {919.2 mi}), whomever pays the bills at their house would realize there really is a piper they need to pay, with or without bogus calculations.

Like the others have said, not for real. If you’re lucky, carrying a light load and driving easy, that Chevy Express might get half the MPG the owner claims.

That is impossible to get 37mpg on these.More than likely 15 to 20mpg.My sister drives one of these and thats what she gets and the van is not even loaded.

37 mpg average for a large truck seems very unlikely. But 37mpg once in a while, could be. My truck mpg’s average about 17-20, but vary quite a bit upward occasionally. Depending on whether I was on a long downhill (coasting down the hill from the top of Pikes Peak I imagine you could get pretty high mpgs) , or especially if the wind was blowing in my direction the whole trip. I think the best I ever got over 150 miles was going across the Utah/Nevada salt flats in the direction a strong wind was blowing, over 30 mpg.

As far a retirement community living, continuing your success in business life by competing with the fellow retirees about family, dogs, and possessions is what it’s all about, right? … lol … Suggest to just join right in. Tell them not only do your grand-kids win every school science fair, but when they bother to enter, your dogs do too :wink: If they ask you how a dog could win a science fair, tell them dogs are really smart. If they balk, tell them this story: A man walks into a bar with his pet dog, tells the barkeep “my dog is the smartest dog in the world, ask him any question you like”. The barkeep says “what’s on the outside of a tree?” “Bark” says the dog “Ok, who’s the best baseball player of all time” “Roooth” says the dog. The barkeep says "ok, I get it, just a joke , take your dog and go away ". As they are walking out the dog says to the owner “should I have said DiMaggio” ??


Maybe that is what the mpg estimator says while decelerating.

1 Like

She’s either lying or dreaming in Technicolor.

I had a friend ask me the mileage of a Dodge Ram pickup he was looking at. The owner said it got 35 mpg. I provide a more realistic figure and told him to forget even dealing with this guy.

If this lady were coasting all the way from AR to PA, even with hurricane-force winds at her back, I’m thinking if she got 20 mpg, it might be something to crow about. Somebody on this board mentioned that van would have a 31 gallon tank: almost 200# of fuel. If she fudged, say, 5 mpg, that would be one thing, but doubling the yield, either she thought I was stupid or she actually is. I’m sure it wasn’t malicious on her part, but I was intrigued to say the least. That’s why I wanted to find out. Retirement community living…I am not the competitive type; that’s why I spend so much time helping dogs. I move probably 1000 a year out of AR and OK. I don’t transport people, I can tell ya that. Frankly, I am interrupted so often here, even if I wanted to compete, I’d never get the words out. My favorite bumper sticker said MY SHIH TZU IS SMARTER THAN YOUR HONOR STUDENT. Yeah…


Yep, but I had a Dodge Rampage, El Camino like pickup, based on the Omni. 2.2 K car motor, on a cross country trip, when the speed limit was 55, it could obtain 35 mpg. No way on any other pickup.

There are few pickups that could get 35 MPG or close to it. The diesel Ranger from the 80’s probably could, and the current Colorado diesel. For whatever reason, diesels seems to be able exceed their EPA ratings by a larger-than-you-might-expect-margin in real-world driving. I didn’t believe it until I took a road trip with some friends in a 2003 Ford Excursion (4WD diesel), I knew from selling them that the gas models struggled to get more than 12-13 MPG highway. So I figured the diesel would probably get around 17 MPG. The guy driving said that it would do way better than that. We filled up the 44 gallon fuel tank, drove from central VA, to Sumter, SC, where were stayed overnight at another buddy’s house, then the next more drove a little less than an hour to Darlington for the race, then drove back to Sumter for the night, then drove back to VA the next day, the fuel tank wasn’t close to empty. We filled it back up again ( the Excursion was being borrowed), and it got 22 MPG for the trip, that’s with 5 people, their luggage, and the front and rear AC going the entire time. Likewise I have a neighbor with two TDI VWs. He claims that he can get 52 MPG with his TDI Beetle, it’s rated for 47 MPG highway, normally I wouldn’t believe it, but virtually everyone I’ve ever met with a TDI VW states that they get better than the EPA estimates, there’s enough anecdotal evidence that I’ve come to the conclusion that for diesels the EPA testing methodology doesn’t reflect real world results. With that said, I’ve found that for gas powered vehicles, they are almost bang-on for what the average person can realistically expect.

37 kilometers per gallon perhaps?
Or this song is related to her: